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Jennifer Laffier

Assistant Professor

Mitch and Leslie Frazer Faculty of Education

Dr. Laffier's research examines mental health in the digital age. She explores how technology is impacting mental health of individuals across the lifespan and the importance of digital wellness. The mental health impacts on learning and performance are explored as they relate to students from Kindergarten to post-secondary, as well as adults in the workplace. Dr. Laffier is a licensed therapist with 30 years of experience providing research- to- practice initiatives for individuals, families, organizations and communities. She is the Director of the Mental Health in the Digital Age Lab, which develops evidence-based resources and programming for communities.

  • PhD in Psychology
  • MA in Counselling Psychology and Art Therapy (Double M.A.)
  • Certificate in Children’s Mental Health
  • Diploma in Expressive Therapies
  • BA Psychology (Minor in Fine Arts)
  • Laffier, J., Petrarca, D., & Hughes, J. M. (2021). The Need for Promoting and Developing Cultural Competency in Future Teachers. In I. Management Association (Ed.), Research Anthology on Instilling Social Justice in the Classroom (pp. 1467-1486). IGI Global. http://doi:10.4018/978-1-7998-7706-6.ch083
  • Laffier, J., Hughes, J. & Gadanidis, M. (2021). Youth’s relationship with social media: Identity formation through self-expression and activism. In S. Gennaro & B. Millar (Eds.), Young People and Digital Media: Contemporary Children’s Digital Culture (pgs.91-109). Vernon Press
  • Laffier, J. (2020). Depression and Suicide in the virtual worlds of youth. In D. Lester (Ed), Understanding Suicide Ideation. (pp. 137-165). Nova Science Publishers
  • Hughes, J. & Laffier, J. (2017). Exploring Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions of Bullying Through Critical Digital Literacies Lesson Design. In Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2016, L. Liu & D. Gibson (Eds.). Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education.
  • Hughes, J., Morrison, L., Mamolo, A., Laffier, J. & de Castell, S. (2019). Addressing bullying through critical making. British Journal of Educational Technology, 50(1), 309-325. Wiley. Retrieved April 23, 2021 from
  • Hughes, J. & Morrison, L., Mamolo, A., Laffier, J. & de Castell (2018). Full STEAM Ahead: Transforming Learning in Ontario One Makerspace at a Time. British Journal of Educational Technology, 50(1), 309-325.
  • Laffier, J. (2016). The role of artistic expression in the psychological empowerment of bullying victims. Canadian Art Therapy Association Journal: Special Edition on Art Therapy and Mental Health, 29(1), 12-20. Taylor & Francis. doi. 10.1080/08322473.2016.1171987
  • Hughes, J., & Laffier, J. L. (2016). Portrayals of Bullying in Young Adult Literature: Considerations for Schools. Canadian Journal of Education/Revue Canadienne De l’éducation, 39(3), 1-24. Retrieved from
  • Certificate in Trauma-Informed Care with Adolescents, The Centre in Adolescent Studies, Chicago, United States.
  • Certificate in Foundations of Applied Mindfulness/Meditation, University of Toronto, School of Continuing Education, Toronto, ON
  • Autism: Educator’s Series Certificate, Geneva Centre, Toronto, ON.
  • SNAP for Schools Facilitator Certification, issued from Child Development Institute, Toronto, ON.
  • ASIST Suicide Intervention Certification, (Senior Trainer), issued from Living Works Inc., Alberta, Canada.
  • Mental Health First Aid Certification (Master Trainer for Canada), issued from The Canadian Mental Health Association, Ottawa, ON
  • Critical Incident Stress Management Certification, issued from Loyalist College, Maryland, U.S.
  • Threat Assessment and Trauma Response (Level 1 and 2), issued from The Canadian Centre of Threat Assessment and Trauma Response, Regina, Saskatchewan.
  • Tribes- Facilitator Certification, issued from Tribes Learning Communities by Centre Source Systems, Penticton, British Columbia.
  • Non-violent Crisis Intervention: Facilitator Certification, issued from the Crisis Prevention Institute, Ottawa, Ontario.
  • Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Assessment Facilitator Certification, issued from Career Life Skills, Toronto, Ontario.
  • Safe Schools Certification Level 1,2 and 3, issued from the Canadian Safe School Network, Toronto, Ontario.
  • The Thomas- Killman Conflict Assessment-Facilitator Certification, issued from Career Life Skills, Toronto, Ontario.
  • Personality Dimensions Assessment- Facilitator Certification, issued from Career Life-skills, Toronto, Ontario.
  • 2021: Best Paper Award, World Future Forum: Can future teachers change their minds that creativity can be learned?
  • 2019: Best Paper Award, World Future Forum: Mental Health Challenges for New Post-secondary Students; Exploring
  • Interventions for Success
  • 2020: International Research Fellow, Future Institute Chicago.
  • 2020: Ministers Award of Excellence, Ministry of Ontario Colleges and Universities.
  • 2014: Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, ON.
  • 2011: Winner of 2011 Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media for Outstanding Talk Show (Bullying Interview by Rita Celli at CBC Radio, March 26)
  • 2001: Scholarship, Graduate Education and Leadership Scholarship Award, Showman’s League of America (Canadian Chapter)
  • Grants and Funding: Over $1.6 Million in grants and funding (see C.V. for more details)

Child and Adolescent Development
Introduction to Psychology
Developmental Psychology
Mental Health in Schools
Special Needs and Diversity
Theories of Criminal Behavior

Mental Health in the Digital Age
Trauma-Informed Education and Practices
Youth, Media and Pop Culture